Porsche Design and BlackBerry reunite for P’9982, a £1500 Z10 in a steel and leather costume

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?&v=huC1ae3XeGk]

It happened again. This time, Porsche Design and BlackBerry have mutilated the Z10 into a steel-bodied phone for people with more money than sense (and disgraced congressman Peter Russo in House of Cards), with this package set to cost you £1500 in Harrods. By my calculations, outgoing BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins could buy 9166 of these with his $22,000,000 severance package, but something tells me that’s not the greatest idea ever.

Source The Verge

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App of the week: Pocket Casts

interface_PocketCasts_list

If you’re like me, you listen to a lot of podcasts, and you will know that it can be quite hard to keep track of what you have or haven’t listened to or what episodes are new. This week’s app of the week, Pocket Casts by Shifty Jelly, is perfect solution for Android users who want to keep track of all the different podcasts conveniently and easily. It automatically checks for new episodes and notifies you when new episodes pop through via RSS, and presents you with options to either stream or to download. The app will even delete any episodes which you have listened to automatically, and use smart playlists to isolate those episodes that you need to finish first. All this comes alongside a plethora of other useful features such as cross-platform subscription sync.

interface_PocketCasts_sync2

On Android, the new version 4.0 follows the Holo guidelines to the letter, but manages to add its own flavour of red and white to the mix, making this one of the best looking apps I have ever used. While not quite as good-looking or feature-rich, the iOS version of the app still looks great. All in all, I seriously recommend this app to anyone who listens to podcasts.

Pocket Casts, Android (£2.70), iOS (£1.49)
Download from Google Play or the App Store

First Xbox Live game for both Windows Phone and Windows 8 quietly released

galactic_reign2When Windows Phone 8 was released way back in October last year, much was made of the relationship prospective Windows Phone 8 purchasers would have between their mobile and their PCs. Since then, nothing much to that side of things has materialised, but yesterday that all changed.

Galactic Reign was teased by Microsoft last October, but there was no mention of platforms, nor was there a release date, but yesterday the game quietly slipped into both the Windows 8 Store and the Windows Phone Store as an Xbox Live title. Microsoft used to always announce upcoming Windows Phone games well in advance, but they haven’t done so much of that recently, and it seems crazy that such a huge milestone for the OS was released with so little fanfare, but hey, at least it’s here now.

galactic_reign3As you might have guessed from its name, the game is a sci-fi strategy number. You have to find the right balance between spaceships and weapons and hope your fleet is good enough to beat your opponents, and we won’t go into too much detail here, but there’s a single player mode with 60 challenges and a multiplayer side of things where you battle people online. There a bunch of Xbox achievements to aim for as well.

It’s great to finally see a game which bridges the Windows Phone 8/ Windows 8 divide. With the multiplayer game, you can play with different hardware to your opponent, i.e. it doesn’t matter whether you use a PC, Windows Phone or Surface. Galactic reign will cost $4.99 for Windows 8 or for Windows Phone 7 and 8. The best bit of all? You only need to purchase one version to have access to it on both platforms.

Source: Windows Phone Central

HTC One launch event liveblog: catch up on all the news now!

HTC One

HTC is due to show off its latest creation today, and there’s not much about the One (formerly known as M7) that we don’t already know. It looks like a hybrid mutation of a BlackBerry Z10, iPhone 5 and Sony Xperia P, and HTC’s maligned Sense skin seems more reminiscent of Windows Phone with its latest iteration. Hell, we even know that HTC’s going crazy with the button placements on the new phone, but that doesn’t mean that the Taiwanese firm won’t have a few surprises up its sleeves, so we will be liveblogging the launch proceedings via an interesting new platform (Google Docs) and myself (if I get home in time), Rowan and possibly Neil will be bringing you all the news as it happens. Will HTC’s latest be the One to make you feel that way? Join us in a few minutes to find out!

All times are in GMT
This event has now ended.

15:04 Looks like the event is about to start soon! There appears to be a very WP8-esque animation on the stage projection.

15:06 This phone has been leaked like crazy. It looks a bit like a cross between the iPhone 5, the Z10 and the Droid DNA. The highlight has to have been a slightly (read: very) drunk Peter Chou shouting HTC ONE! repeatedly to a crowd of HTC employees a bit like Ballmer.

15:09 The music is ramping up. Very electronic-y.

15:14 Is this thing on? Hey world.
Hey!

15:15 Unlike The Verge, our liveblog isn’t sponsored by BlackBerry. Prepare for total impartiality/terrible jokes/analysis.

15:17 The London event is causing tremendous delays. We should be under way shortly.

15:17: Apparently, there are a lot of unofficial hands-ons going on while people are waiting. It looks like a lot of HTC employees already have their Ones.

15:18: And Jason MacKenzie is on stage in New York!

15:19: “HTC saw a massive opportunity to bring new excitement back to the smartphone.” – Jason MacKenzie

15:20: The HTC One!

15:21 HTC jumping straight into things. Here is a picture of the familiar guy.

15:22 Dual stereo speakers and dual capacitive buttons with the odd placement that HTC seems to wish to pioneer.

15:23 “The new Sense brings a clean and modern design”

15:23 New “Blink Feed” feature, replacing apps and widgets with information that is important to you. Partnering up with a lot of people apparently.

15:24 BlinkFeed seems to be built-in Flipboard. It’s even a bit like Flipboard’s tablet app with its tiled UI.

15:25 HTC has 1,400 content partners. Wow.

15:26 The Verge just broke their embargo. Dual speakers on the front are known as “BoomSound”. Oh dear, HTC.

15:26 Ed Erhart from ESPN is on stage talking about how sports fans love their content on their phones etc.

15:26 The London event is finally beginning.

15:27 The processor is a quad-core 1.7GHz Snapdragon 600, and the camera is the rumoured 4.3MP UltraPixel thing that works somehow. Also Sense 5.

15:27: A clearer image from Engadget! They describe the phone as very thin, and very well made.

15:28 It appears to be a good UI for people who love new content in their faces. If you can avoid it being bloated by Facebook and Twitter, I think I’d adapt to it.

15:30 Also, it’s a 4.7” 1080p display at 468ppi. If you like pixels, this phone is for you.
“Neil Thomas, Pixel Density Enthusiast”

15:32 People at the event are saying the screen is incredibly bright. We believe it is Super LCD 3.

15:32 Also the BOOMSOUND is LOUD. LOUDER THAN BOOM.

15:33 Press shot!

15:33 HTC’s new music player pulls in lyrics from the internet (think Shazam’s LiveLyrics) and it has 2 microphones to record better audio.

15:34 It also has an IR blaster, if anyone cares. Also 802.11ac.

15:35 It will be on all UK networks (duh) and Sprint, T-Mobile and AT&T. Verizon will probably get DROID plastered all over it with dumb bloatware.

15:36 2GB RAM, 32GB storage (with 64GB SKU in some regions), GLONASS, Bluetooth 4.0 and…………..2300mAh battery. Don’t forget GLONASS.

15:37 Apparently good low light too – could this be a PureView killer?

15:38 “We’ve developed our own technology, called the UltraPixel camera. 300 percent more light, ghostless HDR, HDR video.”

15:39 There’s also a camera feature called HTC Zoe. Zoes are short video clips (think Vines).

15:40 It will be interesting to see how well this stacks up with the Galaxy S4 that is rumored for March 14th.
Of course we will be liveblogging that too. And the PlayStation thing tomorrow.

15:41 Your Zoes can have Instagram-esque filters! The world is saved!

15:42 Here are a few quotes from the Engadget hands-on.
“Look a little closer and the attention to detail is staggering — this is a product that stands shoulder to shoulder with the iPhone 5 in terms of materials and build quality.”
“HTC even sourced custom-grade aluminum that’s harder than what’s found on the iPhone 5.”
“In front are two aluminum bands (top and bottom) separated by a vast sheet of Gorilla Glass 2 covering a gorgeous 4.7-inch 1080p (468 dpi) Super LCD 3 display.”

Apparently it takes 200 minutes to machine just one shell.

15:44 “We’ve leveraged our breakthroughs in technology to integrate the antenna within the phone’s aluminum, allowing us to create gapless devices from a single block of aluminum.”

15:46 IT HAS CHAMFERED EDGES.

15:46 It also has Optical Image Stabilization, Nokia style.

15:47 The One will ship worldwide in late March. No RIM-style same-day launch magic here. 😦 Also no Verizon. So yay, no home button logos.

15:47 “HTC is launching a new trade in program where customers that preorder can turn in their current phone to get up to $100 off of a One.” I could actually do this – but I love my Nexus.

15:48 And, as with last year’s 8X event, HTC’s done in an hour. Thanks for joining us! Remember to give us feedback on this new liveblogging style we’re trying.

15:49 Be sure to join us at 4 PM GMT for the Ubuntu event! Also, join us at [placeholder o’clock] tomorrow as we meet the future of PlayStation!

Intel and Safaricom announce Yolo, a Lexington-powered phone for Kenya

Intel Yolo Lexington

Intel’s march into the mobile market hasn’t been as successful as they would have desired, with devices powered by the Medfield family of Atom chips such as the XOLO X900 and Orange San Diego struggling for traction, although things began to look up with the release and heavy marketing of Motorola’s RAZR i late last year. With its second wave of phone chips, codenamed Lexington, the company has decided to target emerging markets, and the first Lexington phone has now been announced in conjunction with Safaricom, one of Kenya’s largest carriers.

Intel Yolo

The Yolo (yep, YOLO) is essentially a consumer version of the Intel Smartphone Reference Design shown off at CES, and its Atom Z2420 chip clocks in at 1.2GHz, which Engadget notes makes the phone feel like 2009, and its 5MP rear camera is capable of 1080p video and a 7 shot-per-second burst mode. The Yolo will also have a 3.5″ touchscreen of as-yet-unknown resolution, and an HSPA+ modem will be responsible for connectivity. The Yolo will be available in Safaricom stores with 500MB of data for Kshs. 10,999 (£79.57) and will almost certainly make its way to Europe with alternative branding later this year.

Update: @tazersky tipped us of to Techweez’s review of the Yolo, complete with images and more spec information.

Via TechCrunch
Source Intel Newsroom
Image Credit Techweez

The Verge: Nokia to release ‘true’ PureView EOS Windows Phone in 2013 with aluminium body

The Verge’s Tom Warren, a reliable writer with regard to Microsoft news, reported that Nokia will be releasing the first ‘true’ PureView Windows Phone handset late in 2013. The device, codenamed EOS, will feature a sensor closer to that which appeared on the Nokia 808 PureView which was released last year. As well as this, it is reported that the device will signal the start of a new design cycle for the Lumia range. The device will be made of aluminium and will have squared edges, contrasting with the rounded polycarbonate body found in the current Lumia range.

The device is believed to be in the pipeline for AT&T in the US, and is expected to be released alongside another device (codenamed Catwalk) which will also have an aluminium body. It is clear that Nokia is moving away from the polycarbonate which they have used in their previous Windows Phone handsets. This change means that they will be in a much better position to compete with phones such as the iPhone 5 when it comes to size and weight, something that they have been unable to do thus far with the Lumia range, however this is in no way Nokia’s first phone of aluminium construction. The Nokia N8, the precursor to the aforementioned 808 PureView, was constructed out of the lightweight metal and was indeed available in a number of colours. With MWC coming up in a few weeks, we can expect to see more information coming out of Finland with regard to these handsets and Nokia’s upcoming Windows RT tablet.

Source The Verge

Delayed Samsung Ativ Odyssey Windows Phone will hit Verizon shelves on January 24th

Samsung Ativ Odyssey Verizon Windows Phone

Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 launch event was headlined by the appearance of Jessica Alba, but otherwise very little unknown information surfaced about the operating system or the devices it would appear upon. One smidgen of news that did emerge, however, was that a Samsung device, depicted by a lonely silhouette and named the Ativ Odyssey, was in the pipeline for a December release on Verizon in the US. Of course December came and went without a release, but CES gave Samsung the opportunity to show the 4″ Windows Phone 8 device to the world. Now, a press release has stated that the phone will be available sooner rather than later, with stores set to receive the Ativ Odyssey and Valentine’s Day editions of the Nokia Lumia 822 and Motorola Droid Razr M tomorrow (January 24th).

The Odyssey joins the Lumia 822 and HTC 8X in Verizon’s lineup of LTE Windows Phones, and its microSD slot and 2100mAh battery should win it some fans, although the 800 x 480 screen resolution and 5MP camera show that it is pitched towards the lower end of the market. As with almost all other Windows Phone 8 devices, the package comes powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 chip accompanied by 1GB of RAM, and it will be available for $49.99 with a new 2 year contract, while whispers of a European launch remain unconfirmed but not impossible.

Via Engadget
Source Verizon Wireless